• Jollof rice and other dishes from the diverse continent might soon have their moment. (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Jollof rice is a staple across much of West Africa, with each country possessing its own interpretation. No matter which brand of jollof you come across, the main ingredient will always be rice. Other ingredients, such as fish, beef, pork, chicken, plantain, help to differentiate and dress up the dish. Like many African recipes, jollof rice can be served at all occasions – toned down for weeknight meal or adorned with seafood for a more lavish affair.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (51 votes)


  • 2 whole snapper or tilapia (about 600 g each) or other white fish, filleted, skin on
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder or salt to season
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or to taste
  • 2.5 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 green chillies, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder or to taste (or use salt to taste instead)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • cups long grain rice
  • coriander or parsley, to garnish
  • salad, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Toss fish fillets gently in garlic and ginger, season to taste with stock powder or salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven grill to high.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frypan over medium heat, add the diced onion and fry until golden and softened. Add garlic, ginger and chilli and, after 1 minute, add spices, stirring for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, stir for another minute, then add diced tomatoes and carrots. Stir until the tomato has softened, then add stock powder or salt to taste. 

Add the rice and 2½ cups (625 ml) water, making sure the contents are mixed well, and then cover the frying pan. Keep stirring contents in the pan every couple minutes to prevent it from catching to the pan. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is just tender and water has been absorbed. Add more water to make as desired if rice is still firm.

Meanwhile place fish on a foil lined baking tray and place under the oven grill for a few minutes or until just cooked.

When the rice is cooked to your liking, serve with the fish. For a balanced diet, you can add your preferred salad as a side dish. Jollof rice is best served hot.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury and Cynthia Black.